Ayatollah Ahmad Khatami used the Tehran Friday Prayer to send out warnings about threats at home and abroad.
Khatami told the Rouhani Government, “Choosing colleagues who were sedition leaders [in protests after the disputed 2009 Presidential election] is not compatible with the slogan of moderation.”
The hard-line cleric then turned to the Syrian crisis, “[His] big lie was denying al-Qaeda’s presence among terrorists in Syria. Who has not seen their crimes and does not know that al-Qaeda executes America’s orders?”
Khatami concluded, “The American government and humanity are two opposite poles, because their lives are associated with savagery.”
In Isfahan, Friday Prayer Leader Hojatoleslam Mojtaba Mirdamadi added his own warning:
“If you are intent upon attacking Syria by relying on some Saudi and Qatari Sheikhs, be certain that Islamic countries and Iran will not be silent and will give a strong answer….If you want Israel’s death and obliteration, enter the Syrian crisis.”
More spin playing up the Iranian threat in the event of a US attack on Syria, this time from Lebanon:
Iran, Syria, and Hezbollah have set up a joint military operations room to coordinate closely in the event of a U.S. strike on Syria, with Hezbollah mobilizing “tens of thousands” of fighters, senior political and diplomatic sources told The Daily Star Friday.
No support is provided for assertions such as “Hezbollah has even called up tens of thousands of fighters and reservists”. Instead, there is a quote from “one diplomat”:
Iran, Syria and Hezbollah don’t have a clear picture about what Americans have planned. But those countries too are prepared for various scenarios.
More on the claim of US officials, put out through The Wall Street Journal on Friday, of an order to “Iranian militants in Iraq to attack the U.S. Embassy and other American interests in Baghdad in the event of a strike on Syria”….
The sensational allegation was unsupported by evidence — such as a glimpse of the order or an explanation of how the US could have intercepted the communications of the head of the elite Qods Force, Qassem Soleimani — but other media outlets are chasing after it. CNN, for example, finds its own “senior US official” to say that Iran has “a lot of Shi’a friends” in Iraq that would be willing to carry out an attack.
Ali Saeedi, the Supreme Leader’s representative to the Revolutionary Guards, has issued a warningagainst “engagement” with the US: “Individuals who introduce negotiations with America are beating the drum of abasement….If a nation seeks to be independent, America will confront it.”
While the hard-line on Syria is put out by Iran’s clerics, ripples continue from former President Hashemi Rafsanjani’s criticism last week of the Assad regime for using chemical weapons.
MP Ali Motahari called for resolution after news of Rafsanjani’s statement was censored and denials were issued:
[I]t is possible that he has information, news and documents that he [he used to] reach the conclusion that the Syrian government [executed] a chemical attack. If this is the case, he wants to say that Iran and the Islamic Revolution should not invest more than the limit and wants to prevent this matter. Perhaps he has such a goal; these must be clarified.
Ahmad Tavakoli, another leading MP, demanded a retraction as well as clarification, “Mr. Hashemi’s position is an egregious mistake with respect to national security. It is necessary for him to personally and strongly deny his statements as soon as possible.”
According to the reformist paper Shargh, 170 MPs have signed a letter indirectly criticizing the former President.
By EA WorldView
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